Monday, 22 February 2016

Sun Peaks, not Big White

After skiing at Big White every year since 1997, we switched and are at Sun Peaks this year.

I know Big White like the back of my hand; in fact, I authored an article on how to ski Big White for Powder Magazine's 1999 guide to the 50 Top Ski Resorts in North America.

The cover

No idea who Andy Dappen is
An ironic coincidence: The article merged what I wrote about Big White with what Andy wrote about Sun Peaks.
I could probably Snow Host at Big White. Sun Peaks? Not so much. I skied here once in 1984. That was a pretty cool and significant trip. I was young and single, living near Edmonton, and had vacation I had no idea what to do with. So I decided to take a 2 week road trip and ski all over western Canada, checking out ski resorts. I would spend a day skiing at a resort, then at the end of the day, drive to the next one. I hit (in order):
  • Marmot
  • Lake Louise
  • Sunshine
  • Norquay
  • Panorama
  • Whitetooth, the hill that became Kicking Horse (very much different today than then)
  • Powder Springs, the hill that became Revelstoke (very much different today than then)
  • Sun Peaks
  • Silver Star
  • Big White
  • Apex
  • Red Mountain
  • Whitewater
  • Schweitzer
  • Fernie
It was that trip that caused me to fall in love with Big White as a ski-in, ski out, stay on the hill destination resort. I have few memories of Sun Peaks, on the other hand. I remember a creaky old chair that took a LONG time to get to the top of the mountain, and not much else.

I've skied at Big White 125 days since I started keeping records in 1996; I've done 426 days at Sunshine in the same window, and the next area I have frequented is... Norquay, where I have skied all of 10 days. I've skied 617 days at 24 different resorts since 1996, and only 66 have been at somewhere other than Sunshine or Big White. 

I'm here for 4 days. I'll tell you what I think about the place after I'm done.

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